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Man Pleads Guilty for Trying to Have Sex with Minor in Front of Judge

The headline above, what does it imply?
1. A man tried to commit a heinous act in the presence of a judge, or
2. A man pleaded guilty to a judge for attempting to commit a heinous act.
judge_cartoon.JPG
Mmm, judgy likey.
If you answered No. 1, you'd be correct -- grammatically speaking.

Of course, most criminals would never attempt to have sex with a minor in front of a judge, so the answer is probably No. 2.

But who knows? There are a lot of dipshits out there.

So tell us, dear reader, what is the U.S. Attorney's office implying in the following press release that states...
David P. Hawkey, 24, Florissant, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of using interstate facilities to commit the crime of attempting to obtain a minor for the purposes of committing a commercial sex act before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw.
AREA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN

Here's that entire release...

December 3, 2009

For Immediate Release

AREA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN

St. Louis, MO: The third man caught up in an undercover sting has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted sex trafficking of children, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today.

David P. Hawkey, 24, Florissant, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of using interstate facilities to  commit the crime of attempting to obtain a minor for the purposes of committing a commercial sex act before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw.  He now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $500,000, when he is sentenced on March 11, 2010.

According to court documents, on July 27, 2009, law enforcement officers and agents were involved in an undercover operation investigating subjects who attempt to purchase children, or their services, for commercial sex in the Eastern District of Missouri.  The same day, officers received an email in response to an internet advertisement that had been placed by law enforcement working in the undercover capacity.  The advertisement indicated that young females of an indeterminate age were available.  The email was from David Hawkey inquiring about the age and price for the girls.  The undercover officer informed Hawkey that he had a 16 year-old girl and a 14 year-old girl and each was $80 for a half hour and $160 for an hour, or $300 for both.  Hawkey replied that he wanted the "younger one," and requested  nude pictures of the girl.  Hawkey further indicated that he wanted full service, which is a term that is used to denote sexual intercourse.  Hawkey was given a telephone number to make further arrangements.  The undercover agent and Hawkey arranged to meet at a location in St. Louis County.  Hawkey paid the undercover agent in cash and was arrested by the FBI, St. Louis County Police and Maryland Heights Police.

"Fortunately there wasn't a real child in this case whom Mr. Hawkey could have victimized," said Mike Kaste, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. "The FBI and its partners are proactively catching child predators before they traumatically harm a child."

There were two other men charged as a result of this undercover operation:

Matthew S. Nichol, 44, St. Charles County, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of using interstate facilities to  commit the crime of attempting to obtain a minor for the purposes of committing a commercial sex act, in September and is scheduled for sentencing December 11, 2009. 

James Grady, 58, St. Louis, was indicted November 5, 2009, by a federal grand jury on one felony count of attempted sex trafficking of children, one felony count of coercion and enticement and one felony count of possession of child pornography.  Additionally, Grady is charged with a forfeiture count, which, if convicted, will require the forfeiture of property that was used to facilitate the criminal activity.    He is scheduled for trial March 1, 2010.

                                                               

If convicted, each count of sex trafficking and coercion/enticement carries a penalty range of 10 years to life in prison and/or fines up to $500,000.  Possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000.

Reap commended the work on the case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maryland Heights and St. Louis County Police Departments; and Assistant United States Attorney Howard J. Marcus, who is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and defendant Grady is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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5 comments
Thejbyrd
Thejbyrd

This guy is my ex-girlfriends brother.

Deej
Deej

"I met a judge at a swingers party, and he said he'd like to meet my wife.

I said, "Your Honor!" *

(* from 'A Mighty Wind')

jeff
jeff

I agree that the placement of "in front of" is problematic, but using "in front of" instead of "before" (which is what the release actually said) is disingenuous.

Chad
Chad

Sorry, Jeff, but the use of "in front" or "before" has nothing to do with the way the sentence was structured. I was just pointing out that a better way of writing the sentence in question would be to introduce the judge much earlier, ie...

David P. Hawkey, 24, Florissant, pleaded guilty BEFORE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE CHARLES A. SHAW to two felony counts of using interstate facilities to commit the crime of attempting to obtain a minor for the purposes of committing a commercial sex act.

jeff
jeff

Sorry Chad, but "in front of" and "before" mean different things, especially in the context of a court hearing. In reading your headline, I though #1, but if it had said "Man Pleads Guilty for Trying to Have Sex with Minor Before Judge" I certainly would have though #2 was more likely. And if it had said "Man Pleads Guilty for Trying to Have Sex with Minor before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw" I definitely would say #2.

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